Direct Marketing Services
Shady direct marketing services
Most consumers are now familiar with shady direct marketing services promising prizes from a competition they've never entered, or 'absolute last chance' deals of unbelievable value. But it's not only consumers who should be aware of direct marketing scams and shams - direct marketers get hit too.
The following scams are some of the most common out there in the direct marketing services.
Shady direct marketing lists
If you're considering buying a direct marketing list you've got to be extremely careful about how you go about it. Although there are many reputable list brokers out there, there are far more companies willing to pawn off a load of addressees randomly generated by a computer, unethically harvested from the Internet, or created from opt-out replies to previous mails. In any case the results are the same, you'll get no return on your investment and you'll probably set off spam filters wherever your messages go. Eventually your email address will be blacklisted by ISPs and you'll be far worse off than before. Be extremely cautious when buying direct mail lists, see our page on buying a direct marketing list for more tips in this area.
Guaranteed placement in natural search engine rankings
The top search engines invest billions in a constantly changing set of algorithms and teams of human editors to trawl sites and weed out the duds. Any company that guarantees you a top listing in a major search engine should be avoided. It simply isn't possible, at least not in the long run. As search engines change their criteria and become more sophisticated sites using shady search engine optimization techniques such as keyword jamming and link farming will be quickly found and eliminated from the listings. See out page on search engine marketing for more information.
White telemarketing lists
With the introduction of the Do Not Call register, the telemarketing industry has taken a major blow, and the number of legitimate telemarketing leads has fallen dramatically. With high penalties for calling anyone who has registered you've got to ensure that any list you buy is legitimate and up to date. You will be liable for the penalty, not the list provider, should you contact someone who has asked not to be called. Stick to your own database of existing customers and always keep it up to date to be on the safe side.